wake up & say good morning

WHO IS MIRANDA TSANG? A darn-fine lady, that’s who. When not making offerings to the tumblr. gods via salt-tooth and bizarro “anytime” newsletter Swak! Bitches., Miranda is thinking of the children – specifically those who benefit from one of my favorite organizations in the world, 826 Valencia.  I had the pleasure of working with Miranda while interning at 826, and quickly discovered her sense of humor was twisted at the same angle as mine and that she knew what was up when it came to music. I asked her to make M|H a mixtape, and she bestowed upon us the 19-track Wake Up & Say Good Morning.

Now that Miranda’s got the mix out of the way, she can focus on becoming a cheater – but she needs you to help. 826 Valencia is hosting a Spelling Bee for Cheaters. In exchange for funds raised, contestants can get help spelling their words. Miranda’s team, Black Swan (comprising Miranda, Miel Alegre, Emilie Coulson, Christel Chan, and John Vanderslice), is halfway to their goal. Help them meet it! Proceeds benefit kids in the SF Bay area via 826 Valencia, a non-profit writing and tutoring center. Miranda & Black Swan are up against some stiff competition, including Thao Nguyen (Thao & The Get Down Stay Down), Adam Savage (Mythbusters), Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), and Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay).

Though contributors will feel much better for helping the children (the sweet, adorable, literate children!), even non-contributors will love the mix. Enjoy!

01| Crave You (Bxentric Remix) by Flight Facilities
02| Party & Bullshit in the USA (Hathbanger Mashup Remix) by Notorius B.I.G. & Miley Cyrus
03| Since You’ve Been Gone by Aretha Franklin
04| Be Brave by The Strange Boys
05| Seven Fingers by Frank Black
06| Four Floors (Diplo Remix) by Sunday Girl
07| New Pony by The Dead Weather
08| Fish Paste by Die Antwoord
09| Dance Wiv Me (Shazam Remix) by Dizee Rascal
10| Vy Fraan Ett Luftslott (Punksjumpup Remix) by Kent
11| Phantom Mountain by Ghost Eyes
12| When I’m Small by Phantogram
13| When Will Happiness Find Me Again? by Frank Black
14| Random Girls by So Cow
15| Paradise Circus by Massive Attack
16| Keep the Streets Empty For Me (Majikers BPM Remix) by Fever Ray
17| I’m Not Alone by Calvin Harris
18| Indestructible (A-Trak Edit) by Robyn
19| Pap Smear by Crystal Castles

(If you pause, the player will keep your place as long as you stay on the page.)

sing your favorite song at the top of your lungs

Daniel Hart, violin-toting member of St. Vincent, the Polyphonic Spree, and John Vanderslice’s band, has a new project – The Physics of Meaning. Combining his loves of classical music and the theater, Hart creates something of an indie-rock musical on Snake Charmer and Destiny at the Stroke of Midnight.

The Physics of Meaning touch on several different styles throughout the album, but the core of strings based around Hart’s violin provide a common string to tie it all together. Hart’s story-like lyrics weave a tale of a snake charmer and his doomed love, Victoria. Lead male and backing female vocals help bring the story to life instead of merely putting it in a third-person perspective.

Hart’s mastery of his craft shines through on the opening and closing tracks, the companion instrumental pieces “In Dreams, We Discover Ourselves, Broken and Yearning” and “In Dreams, We Return to Ourselves, Empty and Honest”. The former is a dramatic violin solo, and the latter a revisit of the theme with additional strings that builds into a beautifully striking sound.

Closer to the rock vein are “Around the Bend” and “Why Can’t We Fall In Love Forever? (Anything Is Possible)”. “Around the Bend” features beautiful female vocals playing off of Hart’s, accompanied by harp and with a melody and feeling that would not be out of place in a musical. The start of “Why Can’t We Fall…” has a soul sentiment, but the tune is all indie. The strings, propulsive drums, handclaps, and choir constitute perfection.

Snake Charmer and Destiny at the Stroke of Midnight dropped 09/16/08.
Visit their MySpace page and download “Aeroplanes and Hurricanes” here.